In case you haven't heard, August is our birthday month. Since we began six years ago, we've served more than 20,000 guests (that's a lot!) and poured about 14,000 bottles of wine.
That means we're ready to start something new, and we're starting it today.
Don't worry! We're still keeping the tours you've come to know and love, but now we're adding another one: a new Chauffeured Distillery Tour. It includes at least three distillery stops during the five hours we'll be out exploring with our expert guides, food, beer, and (above all) fun.
We'll come pick you up and drop you off again so you don't have to drive, and we'll also feed you and take you to some of the coolest places you've probably never heard of all over San Diego so you can experience our unique and amazing distilleries. We're not just about vineyards and breweries any more — we had to expand because we were having too much fun.
We'd also like to let you know about the upcoming San Diego Spirits Festival on August 27th through the 28th at the Port Pavilion Broadway Pier. Tickets are $85, but you can knock $20 off with the promo code COCKTAILS. We've got you covered!
We're so excited about these new tours and new possibilities, and we look forward to toasting our expansion with you. Call us and either join us for our inaugural tour, or book a cocktail and distillery party today! We offer great food, great drink, but most of all a wonderful time with some of the best people you'll ever meet.
Brooke B., Cocktailess
It's one of the biggest times of the year for San Diego! Comic-Con International is here again, and it's bringing hundreds of thousands of people to our beautiful city.
Since San Diego is one of the beer capitals of the United States (if not the world!) it makes sense that there's a lot of beer coming along with the crowds. But brewers aren't the only ones who are coming through! Check out the Comic-Con offerings, because cons are thirsty work!
First and foremost, Schmaltz Brewing Company is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary (!) of Star Trek with a theme beer called The Trouble With Tribbles, a golden ale. Yum! You'll be able to find it at the following locations in San Diego this week:
Golden Anniversary Ale: The Trouble With Tribbles will be available throughout the San Diego metro area at Neighborhood (777 G St.), Burgers, Bate & Beer (200 Marina Park Way), Hopping Pig (748 Fifth Ave), Tipsy Crow (770 Fifth Ave), Gaslamp Tavern (868 Fifth Ave), The Safehouse – North Park (2930 University Ave), Newport Pizza & Alehouse – Ocean Beach (5050 Newport Ave), Balboa Tap House – Clairemont (4421 Genesee Ave), Goldfish Point Café – La Jolla (1255 Coast Blvd), Eureka! – La Jolla (4353 La Jolla Village Dr), Woodstock’s Pizza – SDSU (6145 El Cajon Blvd), Ugly Dog Pub (6344 El Cajon Blvd), Craft Kitchen – La Mesa (4253 Palm Ave), and The Hills – La Mesa (8758 La Mesa Blvd). Please refer to this interactive map for additional locations selling The Trouble With Tribbles.
Schmaltz is also putting out another brew in the fall called: Star Trek Golden Anniversary Ale: Voyage To The Northeast Quadrant.
There's also a metric ton of beer and comics related events all weekend long! It starts with Hop-Con 4.0, and the fun continues all the way through the weekend with the Heroes Brew Fest as one of the annual highlights.
There are quite a few Comic-Con-themed cocktails out there, too. Check a sampling of `em out right here. Because San Diego Comic-Con is thirsty work!
Happy Independence Day!
We can't believe that it's already July, but here we are. The rainy season is over and the world is sunny and sparkling. It's such a great time of year to get out and start exploring San Diego, whether you live here or are just visiting!
There are fireworks displays all over San Diego County, so finding a show shouldn't be too difficult. But the really hard part comes after you've plotted out where you plan to go: deciding on the best drink to accompany a fireworks show.
Don't worry, we've got you covered! First, you have to consider the weather. It's probably going to be pretty cool on the night of July 4th, which means you won't have to spend the day chilling white wine (unless, of course, you really want to). Because it'll be pleasantly cool, we recommend a brightly-flavored wine to watch the fireworks by, like Cordiano Winery's Trinity blend, or one of San Diego's famous local beers, like Mike Hess's Grim Ave Session IPA. Are you feeling a little more festive?
You aren't limited to anything in particular, though. There's also a great selection of spirits in San Diego these days. Since you're going to want to stay up a bit later than normal (hooray for the long weekends!) we recommend Kill Devil Spirit Co.'s wonderful Ugly California Rise and Shine moonshine. It's brewed with coffee beans, giving it a natural caffeine kick in addition to the roundhouse blow of 90 proof liquor. Delicious!
We think tippling one of these wonderful choices (or any of the other many, many wonderful options available to you in San Diego) will really add a kick to your firework watching. We'll be out there too, and if we see you, we'll raise a glass to you. Alternately, you could always join us! Give us a call at (858) 551-5115, and we'll tell you all about our tours.
Father's Day has arrived. It's a great day to take your dad (or any dad in your life) out for a pint and tell him how much you appreciate him. You know that, of course, and maybe you're already doing that.
But what if you want to take it to the next level, and give your dad something truly memorable? How about not just one beer, but a whole beer tour of San Diego? You don't have to schedule it for today (although you can call or email us any time you like) but just gifting the dads in your life with the experience of a chauffeured beer or wine tour, or one of our new guided distillery tours, will make today that much more special.
Giving gifts can be difficult, especially for people who are picky or hard to please. Science makes it easier, though: give experiences, not things. Material things can cause clutter or be forgotten (let's never forget the white elephants we have to haul out when our relatives come to visit) but experiences last a lifetime.
The experiences we offer aren't just some of the best you can get. As you're dining and drinking like royalty and sampling wonderful foods, you're also participating in some of the most environmentally friendly activities you possibly can. All of our food and drink, wherever possible, is locally grown and made, and by taking the train, walking, or participating in a chauffeured tour, you're doing your part to clean up the air and prevent further pollution.
What could be a better gift than that? You're not just honoring the dads in your life. You're also honoring the generations yet to come.
Happy Father's Day!
Brooke B., Wine Taster
Happy Mother's Day!
Here at San Diego Beer and Wine Tours, we love our mothers (and your mothers, too). Everybody has one or two, whether it's your biological mom or someone who filled that role. We honor you, mothers and people who love them!
Mother's Day started out as an attempt to reduce deaths due to violence and unsanitary conditions during the Civil War, and quickly became a day to honor mothers and their tirelessness and bravery everywhere. It's celebrated in just about every country in the world, and rightly so.
Our Shira Bliss not only respects and loves her mother, but she also knows just how hard they work — she's raised five lovely children of her own! That means we at San Diego Beer and Wine Tours have an innate understanding and respect for mums, and how they sometimes might want to unwind with a glass of wine and some really delicious food.
And that's where we come in. We love treating your mothers just as much as we love treating our own, and if you're a mom, that applies to you as well. Join us for one of our famous winery or brewery tours, and relax as we chauffeur you all over San Diego. All you (or you and your mom) have to do is sit back, drink in the scenery, and enjoy some of the best food and drink you've ever tasted, all responsibly sourced and locally made.
And don't forget: Beer is the mother of us all.
Happy Mother's Day to you all!
Brooke B., Mamacita
Photo courtesy: FritasShack.com
It's one of the hottest holidays of the year for lovers of food and drink — in the United States, at least. Cinco de Mayo (known affectionately as Cinco de Drinko) can be an excuse to drink tequila until you hit the floor, or it can be celebrated the right way: by sampling some of Mexico's world-class food and drink.
Here's the best part: you don't even have to leave San Diego to do it!
San Diego is right on the Mexican border, and so it's dripping with some of the best Mexican foods, brews, and wines that you've ever tasted in your life. Whether you're sampling some of the high-end moles and tequilas of Cantina Mayahuel, or you're enjoying the arts and scenery of Barrio Logan at Border X Brewing, or even checking out the lucha-themed splendor of Lucha Libre Taco Shop, this is one of the only places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in an authentic way!
Cinco de Mayo isn't hugely celebrated in Mexico, and it isn't Mexican Independence Day — it's the anniversary of the Batalla de Puebla, in which Mexican troops scored a long-odds victory against the French. It is acknowledged with parades and parties in Puebla and elsewhere around Mexico, but it isn't a national holiday. It didn't become a big party (much like St. Patrick's Day) until it hit the United States! From there, of course, it spread.
So for an authentic Cinco de Mayo experience, you should look within the US. We know just the places to go. (And, as always, please drink responsibly!)
Amadora de Cerveza y Vino
You know that we've spent a long time trying to give our customers and clients the best experience possible when we're out on our beer, wine, and food tasting tours. We have been working hard for years now to figure out what everybody needs.
After meeting with focus groups, tech support teams, and public relations agencies, we're happy to unveil our new Wine Beds. We know you probably don't want to leave after you're done with a tour with us, and now you never have to! We placed them on all our tour vehicles, so that if you decide you want to stay longer, you can take a nice nap and return to taste with us refreshed!
Our new car-bed prototype on its way to its inaugural test! Photo courtesy Flickr/Ed Kohler.
As we'll be renting out the beds in fifteen-minute increments, there will be a minor fee for each nap, and only one person at a time can use each bed to cut down on awkward misunderstandings, but we really feel that this will truly maximize your enjoyment of our services.
"I'm so happy that I got that half-hour in between tastings," said Avril Feules-Dei, 28, who recently tried our mattress prototype on one of our train tours. "I was able to return to the meal relaxed, refreshed, and ready for whatever the world threw into my mouth next."
"It was completely worth the extra $50 for those fifteen minutes!" enthused 32-year-old Joe King. "What a great nap!"
"At first, climbing up on top of that van, I had my doubts," confessed tourist Itza Prainck, 63. "But what a rush it turned out to be, especially when I woke up while we were on the freeway! I've always wanted to do that."
The beds are affixed to the top of our chauffeured vans and shaded by high-quality tarps. All you need to do is climb on up and get some rest in the fresh California air and then you'll be ready for anything — and if we have to drive anywhere while you're in dreamland, you'll still be with us! Just hop on up, tie yourself in, and snooze until you're ready to join us on our next tasting.
We're still testing the train prototype, but we'll get back to you just as soon as we figure out how to get the mattresses to stay put.
We hope you enjoy our latest addition to the San Diego Beer and Wine Tours family. Sweet dreams!
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
Today's the traditional day to celebrate your Irish roots (real or imagined) alongside hundreds of thousands of Irish and Irish-at-heart who are doing the same. Today started out as a religious celebration (and a celebration of Ireland itself) but got exported to the United States, where it became a big, drunken holiday and celebration of Irish-Americans.
We love big, drunken holidays, at least when they're celebrated responsibly! In this case, one of our pet peeves has, for years, been the prevalence of green beer. Take a stand against green beer!
There's actually a reason for this that isn't aesthetic. The reason is this: the most Irish beer around is stout, and stouts are delicious, thick, and dark. Those three factors all but guarantee nobody will dye them green. For one thing, since they're already delicious, they won't need any adulteration — even of the colorful variety. For another, the best stouts are so thick and dark, you can put all the green dye into them you want, and it won't make any difference at all in the color.
Since that's what you should be drinking anyway, green beer sort of becomes a moot point. Green cocktails are another matter for another post. But in honor of Saint Patrick's Day:
Our beer tours are, of course, an amazing way to get to know the rich variety of excellent stouts (and other beers!) that San Diego has on tap. Give us a call. We'd love to talk to you about it! We have Shira Bliss on staff, and she's our resident expert. She should be — she was born in Ireland, after all, and in case you still had any doubts, today's her birthday. She's about as Irish as you can get!
Happy St. Shira's Day! Erin go bragh!
Brooke B., Irish Lassie
Photo Courtesy: Lauren Manning/Flickr
Happy Leap Day!
This special day only comes around once every four years, and it originates from Roman times, when then-emperor Julius Caesar decided to add an extra day to the year periodically to make up for discrepancies in the calendar. The tradition started in 45 B.C.E., which means that leap days have been around even longer than our current calendar.
Because leap years are relatively unusual, recurring only twice a decade, February 29th has an air of the mysterious and the unusual about it. Businesses that are started on this day are supposed to be successful, according to legend; another legend states that this is the day women can propose to men (that's an old one though, of course — women proposing to men nowadays raises nary an eyebrow, although it's still generally customary for marriage-minded men to make the proposal.)
Antiquated customs aside, Leap Day is still a special day. It's February 29th, after all, and that demands something special. Since we are of the mindset that every special occasion should be celebrated with delicious food and drinks, we dug up this Leap Day cocktail:
It combines 29 millilitres each of Pisco, Campari, and Lillet, two dashes of Angostura Bitters, and a couple of icecubes. Swirl and enjoy!
If you'd really rather have a beer, we've got your back on that one, too. A number of breweries across the country have planned events for this very day, and if you really feel like pulling out the stops, Philadelphia's 2SP Brewing puts out Hop Leap IPA today, and Untappd put out a special badge for this exact day. If wine's more your thing, we couldn't find any especially leap year specific tipples, but we did find a handy list of leap-themed wines.
Hopefully, you now feel prepared for the unusual fun that will undoubtedly come your way tonight. Happy celebrating, and happy Leap Beer! Or Leap Year! Oh, whatever, we'll drink to them both. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow will be March.
Leap Day Lovely
Restaurant Week has arrived!
It’s one of San Diego’s best events, now in its twelfth year: all over the county, restaurants of every stripe participate in prix-fixe menus and specials. That means that if you like to eat well (and who doesn’t?) you can not only get some of the best value for your dollar this week, but discover new and exciting places to dine as well.
San Diego has always had its spots to get good food, but in the past year or two, it has begun taking its rightful place in the pantheon of “eater’s cities” across the world, joining all the other places you can get a wonderful meal — but still using recipes and ingredients that feature the best of our unique geographic and ethnic diversity.
We at San Diego Beer and Wine Tours have long been champions of restaurant week, because we feel that the food scene here is underrated and always evolving, and deserves a lot more attention than it gets. Plus, wine and beer are great, there’s no denying that, but pairing them often and well is an art, which takes your tasting experiences to new, unforeseen heights. That’s why we love taking you to restaurants!
Whether you’re here for a visit or if you’re a San Diego lifer, whether you’re an experienced eater or you’re not sure where to start on your tasting adventure, we want to be part of it! Give us a call for some pointers about San Diego’s great food scene (especially if you want to sample some of our region’s fine wine or wonderful craft beer) or schedule a tour. Tasting is so much more fun with other good company!
Oh yes, and for more information on San Diego Restaurant Week, visit their official website: www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com. This time around, it runs through January 24th.
Brooke B., Official Taster